OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Preparations are underway and COVID-19 protocols are set Monday for the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon taking place Saturday, Oct. 2 and Sunday, Oct. 3.
It’s the final countdown.
In four days, those from near and far will run to remember for the first in-person Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon since April of 2019.
However, there are a lot of different variables this year with COVID-19 and possible bad weather.
Organizers said they’re hoping everything will run smoothly with their current plan.
“It’s race week, we’re ready to marathon,” said Kari Watkins, the executive director for the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum.
Water is being prepped for delivery to water stops and medical tents are being set up ahead of this weekend’s festivities.
“We’ve done everything we know to do, in working closely with the local hospitals that are a part of our team in making sure we run a safe race,” Watkins said.
It’s well known that runners in the marathon will have to show proof of vaccination or a negative test.
“We worked on a very strict COVID plan,” Watkins said.
But according to Watkins, masks will also have to be worn at the start and finish lines with the ability to take them off mid-race as runners spread out. They will also have to be worn at the convention center during the expo.
“One of the ways we worked the COVID numbers out was to spread the race over two days,” Watkins said.
About 12,000 runners are set to race in the marathon, which is about half of what it normally is. Watkins said making it a two-day event limits the amount of people out there each day.
“We will make sure the race stands for and continues to meet the same mission it met the last time we ran the race,” Watkins said.
As for the weather, Watkins said rain wouldn’t be much of an issue. However, thunderstorms are a different story.
“I hope to God after we’ve overcome COVID and everything else weather’s not something that stops us,” Watkins said.
All of this, as everyone hopes the marathon will make a smooth return to Oklahoma City.
“It’s our chance to teach another generation of runners why this race is so important,” Watkins said. “On this sacred ground we find common ground and that people are still willing to come be a part of this.”
There will also be opportunities to party in scissortail park on both race days after it’s all over. KFOR will be bringing coverage of the even all morning on Saturday and Sunday.